It's been exactly one year today since I sold my 3500 sq. ft. house, gave away or sold 95% of my possessions, (which had accumulated over forty years) and moved into a 900 sq. ft. loft. The process was long and arduous, but with each item being carried out my front door by it's new owners, I started to experience lightness, a burden lifted, and ultimately a freedom I wasn't expecting. With spring time in full bloom today, I admit to missing my gobs of tulips sprouting up all over my yard. But without having to care for that oversized yard, I now have more time to be on the trail among the wildflowers.
I never liked clutter, and I did a good cleaning out of my house every year, but the goods still accumulated. My grown children were a huge part of helping me through this process, as they were willing to let go of years of relics and mementos and keep a few items that meant the most to them. Going through all the memories with my kids will in itself be a lifetime memory I cherish. We laughed, made fun of silly things, and realized we stuck together as a family through some really tough times.
I started this process at least a year before I put my house on the market, and even with what I thought was the bare minimum to stage the house, I still had a lot to do before I closed on the property. Every day I made a list of things I was ready to let go of, and then I found a new home for it. I concluded I didn't need the big dining room set from the 1930's (which was owned by my aunt and uncle) for me to remember all those huge family gatherings when I was growing up. In fact, those family gatherings influenced how I entertain today and why I love to cook for my family and friends. I also didn't need five sets of dishes and crystal, or books and art supplies that filled up twenty medium sized boxes. I found a way to give away my books by locating the "Little Libraries" I'd seen in my neighborhood, and in the neighborhoods of Denver. I filled those little libraries up with books from my trunk as I would pass by. As each room became empty, I did a little dance through the emptiness, and took a sigh of relief.
Looking back on this first year with little possessions, I don't regret it but I embrace it. I know I can always live with less. Now that I've let go of possessions and minimalized, I'm more free to say yes to life experiences.